Grant Gerlock

Reporter

Grant Gerlock started covering Des Moines and central Iowa for IPR in March 2019. Before that he covered food, agriculture and rural life for Harvest Public Media at NET in Lincoln, Nebraska, where his work was recognized with a Regional Murrow Award and awards from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

Grant has a master’s degree in mass communication from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and graduated from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. He grew up on a farm outside of Cumberland in southwest Iowa where he listened to public radio in the tractor.

Grant’s favorite public radio program is Fresh Air.

Ways to Connect

Des Moines Public Schools never resumed classes after spring break last spring. Now the district plans to split students into groups that would spend part of the week at school and part of the week learning remotely.
John Pemble / IPR file

At Clarke Community Schools in Osceola, Iowa, Superintendent Steve Seid has an idea of how to rearrange things in school so students can come back safely in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Desks will be spread out as much as possible. Students will be sent to the restroom one-at-a-time. Lunch periods and class dismissals will be staggered to keep people from cramming into hallways and cafeterias all at once.

Buses are still a puzzle, though. Students ride the bus to school from all across the county. Seid isn’t sure how to manage that while observing social distancing.

Follow the latest Iowa news in our Daily Digest, a newsblog where you can catch up on all the headlines you'll hear about in our on-air newscasts.  

Black Lives Matter demonstrators lie face down on Grand Ave. outside of Des Moines City Hall on June 6, 2020 as part of a protest against police violence and the killing o George Floyd.
Grant Gerlock / IPR File

The Des Moines City Council has passed an anti-racial profiling ordinance nearly two years after the first version of the proposal was introduced.

Matthew Bruce, an organizer with Des Moines Black Lives Matter, speaks with reporters after meeting with Gov. Kim Reynolds to discuss felon voting rights.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Des Moines Black Lives Matter leaders say Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has pledged to sign an executive order to restore felon voting rights in time for the general election, but that it would not likely happen until late summer or early fall.

Andrew Batt/Iowa PBS

Follow the latest Iowa news in our Daily Digest, a liveblog where you can catch up on the headlines in five minutes and find more reporting from our news team about the stories you care about. 

Kate Payne / IPR

Thousands of protesters gathered in downtown Cedar Rapids on Saturday, to call for policing reform, justice and equity for black Americans. They also laid out specific demands for local officials, and urged Iowans to hold their elected leaders accountable in November.

Demonstrators in Des Moines hold signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement at a march on June 3, 2020.
John Pemble / IPR

More than 1,000 protesters crowded in front of Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie’s house Wednesday night, demanding reforms to policing and changes in policies toward protesters. It happened on the sixth consecutive day of civil unrest in communities across Iowa sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Theresa Greenfield gives a victory speech over Facebook Live after winning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Iowa Democrats have chosen Des Moines real estate executive Theresa Greenfield to be their nominee for the U.S. Senate, setting up what is expected to be a closely contested race against incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in November’s general election.

IPR File

Democratic and Republican voters will make decisions in primary elections across the state today. The two major state political parties held precinct caucuses in February to determine their presidential candidate preferences. Polls are open from 8 a.m.  to 9 p.m. 

Natalie Krebs / IPR

Large gatherings are allowed to resume starting this week. There's a primary on Tuesday, and the Iowa Legislature is returning to session Wednesday. As the state grapples with reopening, protests over the death of George Floyd have turned violent in Des Moines. 

Continue to follow the latest Iowa news here for the week of May 31-June 6.

Kate Payne/IPR

Peaceful protests in two Iowa cities Saturday marked another day of anger in many U.S. cities over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

The entrance to Lakeside Casino near Osceola, Iowa.
Grant Gerlock / IPR

Large gatherings will be allowed to resume and more businesses allowed to reopen in Iowa next week under the latest changes to the state’s coronavirus emergency proclamation.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that starting June 1, there will no longer be a 10 person limit on gatherings in Iowa. The state is asking large gatherings to limit participants to half of the venue’s capacity and take “reasonable measures” to ensure social distancing and hygiene practices.

Michael Leland / Iowa Public Radio

The state has allowed more Iowa businesses, organizations and parks to reopen. Iowans continue to adapt to the new normal, acknowledging that coronavirus is here with us, and resuming more community activities. 

Continue to follow the latest Iowa coronavirus news here, where we're posting news updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds, other state agencies, counties and businesses for the week of May 24-May 30.

Grant Gerlock / IPR file

Gov. Kim Reynolds told reporters on Thursday that soon any Iowan who wants a test for COVID-19 will be able to get one. This comes as even more Iowa businesses are reopening on Friday and as hundreds of new confirmed coronavirus cases are reported daily. 

The state hit 400 known deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday.

"There is a societal cost to just shutting down and not realistically moving forward through this pandemic," Gov. Reynolds said during her Thursday press conference.

DarQuan Jones (center) speaks to reporters in Des Moines with his father Daryl (left) and Des Moines NAACP president Kameron Middlebrooks (right).
Grant Gerlock / IPR

A 22-year-old black man in Des Moines said he wants to know why he was targeted by three white men who assaulted him last weekend. DarQuan Jones was attacked early Saturday morning in south Des Moines and told police at least one of the men used racial slurs during the incident.

Madeleine King / IPR File

In many Iowa counties, businesses and organizations are now deciding when and how to reopen. Summer festivals and events organizations are making decisions around whether or how they will operate, and Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced that she is "shifting focus" of Iowa's coronavirus response.

Follow the latest Iowa coronavirus news here, where we're posting news updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds, other state agencies, counties and businesses for the week of May 17-May 23.

kim reynolds
Olivia Sun / The Des Moines Register via AP, pool

On Friday, Gov. Kim Reynolds will continue to reopen parts of the economy that were closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On May 1, restaurants in 77 Iowa counties were allowed to partially reopen. Now, restaurants in all 99 counties can open their doors to a limited number of customers. So can salons, tattoo parlors and barber shops across the state that have been closed since late March.

Michael Leland

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed, although the state did 'reopen' 77 Iowa counties on May 1. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of May 3-May 9.

The 77 counties being allowed to partially reopen May 1 make up most of western, north central and south central Iowa.
Office of the Governor

Seventy-seven counties in Iowa are partially re-opening business in the midst of this pandemic on Friday. Iowa's Governor Kim Reynolds set the scene Thursday during her press conference.

"COVID-19 is here to stay and we must learn to live with it," the Republican governor told reporters.

The coronavirus continues to drive unemployment numbers higher in Iowa. Last week, 28,827 workers filed initial claims for unemployment assistance, including people who work in Iowa but live in another state.

kim reynolds
Olivia Sun / The Des Moines Register via AP, pool

In a move to begin reopening the state’s economy after closing businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds will allow restaurants, retail stores and other businesses to partially reopen in 77 mostly rural counties on May 1.

Amy O'Shaughnessy / IPR

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 26 - May 2.

Michael Leland / IPR

Iowa schools are closed for the rest of the school year, and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 19-25.

Lindsey Moon / IPR File

Iowa schools and many businesses remain closed through April 30 by order of the governor as the state works to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. We'll be posting updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Public Health and other news as it becomes available here for the week of April 12-18. 

Michael Leland / IPR

School buildings will remain closed through at least the end of the month because of the coronavirus outbreak. Now, school districts must decide how they’ll go forward teaching Iowa students while they stay home.

kim reynolds
Olivia Sun / The Des Moines Register via AP, pool

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday that two more long-term care centers are working to contain outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents and staff. She did not name the centers, but said one is in Tama County and another is in Washington County. That follows news last week that an outbreak was in progress at Heritage Specialty Care in Cedar Rapids.

Brian Powers / The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool

Iowa businesses, school districts and citizens continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. We'll be posting updates as more news regarding the spread of the virus in Iowa becomes available here for the week of April 5-11. 

alamosbasement/flickr

Gov. Kim Reynolds Thursday ordered Iowa K-12 schools to remain closed through April 30 and asked school districts to submit plans for offering instruction during part of that time.

She originally recommended on March 15 that schools close until April 13 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But state officials this week said Iowa could reach the peak of new coronavirus cases in two to three weeks.

Restaurants are no longer serving dine-in meals, like The Continental in Des Moines.
John Pemble / IPR file photo

The number of Iowa workers seeking unemployment assistance grew at a faster pace last week as 58,453 people filed claims with Iowa Workforce Development. That adds up to 100,343 initial unemployment claims over two weeks as the state expanded business closures to ease the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.

John Pemble / IPR file photo

The Iowa Department of Human Services must expand mental health treatment at the Boys State Training School in Eldora, a state-run school for delinquent teenage boys.

A federal judge is also ordering staff members at the facility to limit the amount of time residents are placed in isolation and to no longer use a physical restraint device called “the wrap,” which U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose equated with torture.

Brian Powers / The Des Moines Register via AP, Pool

Iowa businesses, school districts and citizens continue to respond to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. We'll be posting updates as more news regarding the spread of the virus in Iowa becomes available here for the week of March 29-April 4. 

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